Nakano is mostly famous because of Nakano Broadway (i.e. Otaku's heaven). There you can find a multitude of otaku goods, from vintage to rare.
Nakano is also a nice place for students to hang out since there are nice parks and cafes and it has a laid-back atmosphere compared to some posh areas of Tokyo.
Close to Nakano station, Good Morning Cafe serves every meal from breakfast to dinner. It's very nice to sit on the terrace on a sunny day. We suggest the salad and the chiffon cake! A lunch set is about ¥1,000 and dinner is around ¥1,000 for one dish; a cake set is ¥900.
This cafe is tucked away in Nakano Broadway, surrounded by interesting and bizarre shops catering mostly for otakus. But this welcoming cafe doubles as a an exhibition hall is a collaboration between artist Takashi Murakami and Fuglen (a small coffeeshop chain from Oslo). Hence the great and flavourful coffee and the beautiful art!
It is a very nice place to come to on the weekend, as they serve different kinds of tasty pancakes and it's right next to the park. Also, they have a nice self-serve salad bar and savoury dishes too. Perfect for a Sunday brunch with a date or friends.
Cafe Gallage is a small cool cafe in Higashi-Nakano, it is affiliated with many other cafes in Tokyo, such as Glitch Coffee & ROaster, Counterpart Coffee Gallery, The Local Coffee Stand, etc. It is also a bar and they serve very cool cocktails in a cool, yet cozy setting.
This cafe in Nogata is between Nogata and Numabuko on the Seibu Shinjuku line. This place hidden gem is almost only frequented by locals, but is worth the detour. If you want the fluffiest chiffon cake you've ever had in your life, this is the place to go. Try it alongside the delicious Japanese drink "Royal Milk Tea."
Rainbow Spice Cafe is a franchised restaurant originally from Tachikawa that also has an address in the basement floor of Nakano Broadway. The indian curry they serve is simply amazingly delicious with a good balance of spices. You can choose from 8 varieties of the dish and some side orders such as salads and soups for just an extra 100 yen. They also specialize in original chai teas so make sure to try that too! Expect to pay around 1000 yen here.
This coffee shop and roasters is right beside Nakano Station. They serve blend coffee for 500 yen, and homemade desserts for 450 yen. Walking by the shop, it is hard to resist the enticing smell of roasted coffee! The chocolate cake is really delish as well!